The Spanish Grand Prix is one of the most highly anticipated European Formula 1 races because you can combine a vacation in Barcelona or a beach trip on Costa Brava with your attendance at the race. Although you may have heard about intense travel problems in 2022 due to unseasonably hot weather and extremely high race attendance, the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix ran smoothly and it appears that travel to Barcelona for the grand prix is back to 'normal'.
The Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya is located just north of Barcelona in a town called Montmelo. Due to its location, there are a number of airports that you can choose to fly into that will allow you to get quickly to your accommodation regardless of the town or city you have chosen to stay in.
Flying directly into Barcelona's massive international airport is the best and easiest option for many racegoers. The airport is located 11 miles (~18 km) from The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona (city center) which is roughly a 25 minute drive depending on traffic and the time of day, and is 27 miles (44 km) or a 38 minute drive from the track. The Barcelona airport has different modes of transportation available to take you into the city (taxis, rideshare, shuttles, etc.). As many people will be staying in the Barcelona city center, note that travel times may vary - especially if you're staying near the circuit and need to drive through Barcelona.
Flying into Regional Airports (Reus and Girona Costa- Brava)
If you're travelling on a more 'budget' or regional airline rather than an international airline, you may find yourself landing in the Reus Airport (Southwest of Barcelona) or Girona Costa - Brava Airport (Northeast of Barcelona. Traveling to these airports may also make more sense if you're staying in neighboring towns (not Barcelona) such as Calella, Mataro, or Stiges (well known beach towns).
From Reus Airport to Barcelona city center, the trip is 65 miles (105 km) or about an hour and 15 minutes by car (dependent on traffic). From Girona Costa-Brava Airport to Barcelona city center, the trip is 61 miles (98 km) or an hour and 10 minute trip dependent on traffic. If traveling directly to the circuit from these airports travel times greatly vary.
Arriving by car
Driving to Spain can be a good option if you want to keep costs low instead of flying from other European countries. Having a car at the Spanish Grand Prix can also be a very BIG convenience instead of waiting for packed public transportation. There are over 20,000 parking spaces at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya and a 3-day parking pass (unlike cities in the US) only costs you about $22 (22 EUR). You can even rent a car service to chauffer you for $130 (120 EUR) for the entire weekend. This is especially important for Spanish Grand Prix attendees who choose to stay on the Costa Brava as there is little to no public transportation that can get you to Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya.
Car rental websites:
Car rental businesses:
Arriving by Public Transportation
Traveling TO Barcelona is extremely easy by trains and busses when traveling within Europe. Eurostar and high speed rail are very popular options when traveling from other cities such as Paris or London and will only set you back around $130 (~120 EUR).
Barcelona (similarly to many European major cities) has a metro system that will get you around the city and to the track. You can purchase a T10 card for any travel up to 75 minutes in duration for 10 single journeys at only $12 (~10 EUR). Or, you can purchase an Hola BCN! travel card, which gives you unlimited travel on Barcelona public transport for 2 - 5 days. Two-day tickets cost $17 (~15 EUR), three-day tickets $24 (~ 22 EUR), four-day tickets $31 (~28 EUR) and five-day tickets $39 (~35 EUR).
In order to get to the track, you must purchase a Renfre Line ticket specifically! The journey itself will take 20 minutes to reach Montmelo, but the walk to the gates is about 20 minutes as well! Make sure that you plan ahead if you want to save money by taking public transport. There is a free shuttle that runs from Montmelo city center to Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya but there are limited seats and will only shave about 15 minutes off of your travel time.
If you're attending the Spanish GP now or in the future, we highly recommend starting with our Spanish Grand Prix Track Guide for all the insider tips and tricks you need to maximize your experience, along with our other guides:
When you're finished, join the lively Grand Prix Travel community on FanAmp and Reddit to interact with fellow motorsports enthusiasts, ask questions, and gather valuable insights. There are even meetups at races around the world so you can spend time with new and old friends over food and drink.
And be sure to visit our trusted partner, F1 Destinations, for help with tickets and all things travel. They write excellent, in-depth guides on all aspects of each race.